SBW to swap Chiefs for Blues?

Date published: May 31 2016

All Blacks centre Sonny Bill Williams could be heading to the Blues next season as part of a new a contract with the New Zealand Rugby Union.

The Rugby World Cup winner is expected to sign a new deal with the NZRU on Wednesday. This means he would have to be contracted to a local Super Rugby team and the 30-year-old, who has in the past been a stalwart at the Chiefs, is contemplating a move to the Auckland-based Blues. 

Khoder Nasser, Williams' agent, has not revealed too much since speculation started about the possible move but Williams has always had close ties with Blues head coach Tana Umaga and the player's family also lives in Auckland. 

The Chiefs chief executive Andrew Flexman believes they have done everything thing they can to retain Williams.

"We've put absolutely our best foot forward and done everything we can to hopefully make the Chiefs compelling for Sonny. And now it's largely beyond our control, to a degree," he told Fairfax Media.

When Flexman was asked whether his chances of going to either club were 50/50 he replied: "That's probably a reasonably fair assessment of it."

Flexman is aware about what might attract Williams to Auckland.

"I have no doubt, knowing the man, that he'll feel a degree of loyalty," he added.

"But loyalty only goes so far. It's obviously what he feels is the best situation for him and his family.

"That whole situation's changed a little bit too, with him being a father to a young child now, and the responsibilities that go with that, so I have no doubt that having family presence in Auckland is a consideration for him as well.

"He may well see the Blues as a compelling challenge for him, given their relative standing in Super Rugby at the moment.

"All I can really say is we know that we'd do a great job with him in our environment, we've proven that in the past, and we'd back ourselves to get the best out of him."